When Vanessa walked into the office with her lanyard wrapped around her hand, Blanche didn’t need to ask why she was there. She did anyway.
“How can I help you, Vanessa?” she asked, looking away from her spreadsheets.
“Um. Miss Blanche. I’ve come to – that is,” Vanessa said. Blanche waited patiently without interrupting. Vanessa always got tongue-tied when she was nervous. “I’ve come to let you know that I’m, uh, retiring. Quitting, I guess.”
The director put on her most sympathetic expression and nodded. “I understand, dear. I can’t say I’m surprised. It’s been a while since I felt you were happy here.” She crossed the room to close the door quietly. “Please, have a seat. Really, it’s alright.”
Tears ran quietly down Vanessa’s face. “I know. I’m sorry. I wish-”
“Really, it’s alright. We all need to move on some time. There’s no use making yourself miserable here. But let me say, we have been truly glad to have you. You’ve been a joy to work with.”
Vanessa sniffed and nodded, awkwardly laying her lanyard on the desk. “I-I’m not sure what I’ll do next. I think I’ll visit home for a while. Figure out what it is that makes me happy these days.”
“A wise plan, dear,” Blanche replied. “And I do hope you’ll keep in touch. We do care about you here, more than just as a useful pair of hands. You’ll be missed.”